Monday, July 15, 2024

England fans’ behaviour under scrutiny over WW2 chant


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COLOGNE, JUNE 20: The behaviour of some England fans at Euro 2024 is under scrutiny after a number were filmed singing a controversial chant referencing German casualties in World War Two over the weekend.
So why does it still happen, will it continue to be sung and what can be done?
Despite an appeal by both British and German police for fans to refrain from doing so, BBC Sport witnessed the ‘10 German bombers’ chant being sung in the German city Gelsenkirchen on the day of England’s opening match against Serbia on Sunday.
Then on Wednesday afternoon, BBC Sport filmed some England fans directing those chants at a group of passing Germany supporters in the centre of Frankfurt.
Over the last few days, we have asked some supporters how they felt about it.
“Just don’t do it,” said one. “There are so many more chants to have rather than that one. [The war] was, what, 80 years ago?!”
“It’s just unsavoury and unnecessary,” said another. “It’s one of those things that when we’re trying to be friends with the Germans, and they’re trying to be good hosts, it just doesn’t give off the greatest impression.”Others however, seemed unconcerned by the song, perhaps helping to explain why a chant that the vast majority of supporters seem to find embarrassing, distasteful, and inappropriate, continues to be sung.“Is it anti-German?” said one when asked it. “There’s no swearing, there’s no offence intended. It’s just an England song. It has been for a while. It’s part of the history.”Another added: “People are looking for something to be offended by these days. It’s not like there’s any swear words. I don’t think it’s an issue.”Others seemed to know very little if anything about the subject or conflict they were singing about and some made the point that England are not the only nation with fans who sing offensive chants designed to goad the opposition.
Last month, British authorities suggested that perpetrators could be hit with fines in Germany if they refused, when asked, to stop singing such songs, and if deemed sufficiently provocative, to qualify as a possible public order offence.However, German police have also said there is a limit to what they can do because singing the song is not a criminal offence in the country, unlike Nazi-related gestures or the chanting of discriminatory racist or homophobic songs. (Agencies)


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